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‘The Empire’ series, with a promising cast, takes you on a grand historical fiction ride

The Empire on Hotstar releases today, and this new series’ cast will surprise you with its ace acting and inspiring visuals. 

The Empire series on Hotstar

The real story of The Empire series on Hotstar —

It’s not much of a fictional portrayal when the name of the lead character (Kunal Kapoor) is Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire and first Emperor of the Mughal dynasty in the Indian subcontinent. However, the series is based on Alex Rutherford’s book, Emperors of the Moghul: Raiders from the North. It is being listed as India’s biggest-ever TV show on a streaming platform. The Empire series spans two centuries — from Babur to Aurangzeb — and stretches from Uzbekistan in the north to southern India. The eight-episode series traces the saga of Emperor Babur, ‘from the valley of Ferghana to Samarkand and beyond’.

The Empire series

The official synopsis of the series is, ”The king of Ferghana dies in an accident, and a young prince is now tasked with taking over the throne. It’s a time of great distress due to imminent danger from an evil warlord. An assassination attempt on the king further deepens the worries about the vulnerability of Ferghana. The young king must now take responsibility for an entire kingdom.”

Hotstar Specials: The Empire series cast —

By the looks of its two and a half minutes long trailer, The Empire promises a Sanjay Leela Bhansali-esq grandeur and historical character persona. We hear Aslam Khan of Rang De Basanti (2006) in Kunal Kapoor’s voice, who plays the role of the fierce Babur whose name translates to a tiger in Persian. The commanding voice is definitely of a leader much celebrated for his formidable stance. Then there is Shabana Azmi as Aisan Daulat Begum, the grandmother of Babur. We also see Dino Morea in the series — he plays the antagonist Muhammad Shaybani Khan, an Uzbek leader who consolidated various Uzbek tribes. And marking her debut on the OTT platform opposite Bollywood biggies is television actress Drashti Dhami, who is recognised for her roles in series such as Geet – Hui Sabse ParayiMadhubala – Ek Ishq Ek JunoonEk Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani. Dhami plays Babur’s sister, Khanzada Begum. The show also stars Aditya Seal as Humayun and Rahul Dev as Wazir Khan.

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The series is created by Nikkhil Advani, who also has Mumbai Diaries 26/11 in the pipeline this year. And it is directed by Mitakshara Kumar, who has worked as an associate director on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s epics Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat. The ‘story adaptation’ has been credited to Bhavani Iyer. 

All images: Courtesy Hotstar